Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.

The confession he had promised was the one painful incident of this time.  He consulted the old prince, and with his sanction gave Kitty his diary, in which there was written the confession that tortured him.  He had written this diary at the time with a view to his future wife.  Two things caused him anguish:  his lack of purity and his lack of faith.  His confession of unbelief passed unnoticed.  She was religious, had never doubted the truths of religion, but his external unbelief did not affect her in the least.  Through love she knew all his soul, and in his soul she saw what she wanted, and that such a state of soul should be called unbelieving was to her a matter of no account.  The other confession set her weeping bitterly.

Levin, not without an inner struggle, handed her his diary.  He knew that between him and her there could not be, and should not be, secrets, and so he had decided that so it must be.  But he had not realized what an effect it would have on her, he had not put himself in her place.  It was only when the same evening he came to their house before the theater, went into her room and saw her tear-stained, pitiful, sweet face, miserable with suffering he had caused and nothing could undo, he felt the abyss that separated his shameful past from her dovelike purity, and was appalled at what he had done.

“Take them, take these dreadful books!” she said, pushing away the notebooks lying before her on the table.  “Why did you give them me?  No, it was better anyway,” she added, touched by his despairing face.  “But it’s awful, awful!”

His head sank, and he was silent.  He could say nothing.

“You can’t forgive me,” he whispered.

“Yes, I forgive you; but it’s terrible!”

But his happiness was so immense that this confession did not shatter it, it only added another shade to it.  She forgave him; but from that time more than ever he considered himself unworthy of her, morally bowed down lower than ever before her, and prized more highly than ever his undeserved happiness.

Chapter 17

Unconsciously going over in his memory the conversations that had taken place during and after dinner, Alexey Alexandrovitch returned to his solitary room.  Darya Alexandrovna’s words about forgiveness had aroused in him nothing but annoyance.  The applicability or non-applicability of the Christian precept to his own case was too difficult a question to be discussed lightly, and this question had long ago been answered by Alexey Alexandrovitch in the negative.  Of all that had been said, what stuck most in his memory was the phrase of stupid, good-natured Turovtsin—­“Acted like a man, he did!  Called him out and shot him!” Everyone had apparently shared this feeling, though from politeness they had not expressed it.

“But the matter is settled, it’s useless thinking about it,” Alexey Alexandrovitch told himself.  And thinking of nothing but the journey before him, and the revision work he had to do, he went into his room and asked the porter who escorted him where his man was.  The porter said that the man had only just gone out.  Alexey Alexandrovitch ordered tea to be sent him, sat down to the table, and taking the guidebook, began considering the route of his journey.

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Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.